Friday, January 27, 2012

American Dream is not over.

Seven years ago I moved to America to forge my own path. Everything I am I owe to the hard work and support of my family as well as my own determination. I was in a wheelchair, by myself, in a strange country fighting for what I felt was my life and my future. Nobody gave me anything. I had to face a lot of rejection at the law school and a complete lack of understanding from immigration. I was pushing, pleading , stressing for years and I refused to give up. I was successful, but not a day goes by without me thinking that it could've easily gone the other way. Because sometimes things don't work out and then you need a a different plan. I came out of those struggles in many ways on top, but in some ways broken and most definitely humbled. I try to work hard, but have no expectations.

 Barack Obama believes that "American Dream" is in trouble. I disagree. Life is and has always been what you make it. I'm living mine. I think a lot of it has to do with the misconception of what this "dream" is. It seems to me that many people have sense of entitlement.  They feel they deserve to have what they have their sights on, to be in a better place. And they get frustrated. I understand frustration. I have fought for many years to become an attorney and get my green card. I felt stressed, trapped and misunderstood. Even today I look at the Foundation I'm involved with and I think that after all the hard work it should be well known, recognized and financially successful. We're not there yet and sometimes I feel like I'm failing myself, the Klausners and all the kids I should be helping but can't reach. But it only makes me work harder. Regroup. For nothing comes to you without hard work simply because you feel it's your time to shine and you deserve it. Sometimes you work hard and you seem to do all the right things and still you're not getting the pay off. I don't think that the "American Dream" was ever meant to allude that you will always get it, every time. A myth popularized by the media, I'm sure that for every success story there are countless others who crashed and burned. Because hard work is not enough. We also need opportunity  and luck. A lot of times it's about the right circumstances.

 Now, don't get me wrong- I'm not rich and often I struggle, and my American Dream is to help kids with my type of disability. I worked on my body, I worked on my intellect to get better and I went through law school in a foreign country to give myself the edge. And yet I struggle still. But I would never dream to blame others or look to what other people have thinking I should have what they do because they have enough! Nor would I dare to occupy anything. There are so many false  assumptions about what the American Dream should be. America... it's not the land, it's not something in the water or air that makes people successful. Yes, it helps to be here because the bureaucracy is smaller and taxes more " user friendly" than many other countries, but a place can only do so much to give you an advantage. And I feel that some  Americans are so caught up in the noble ideas of  " The Dream", hope, change freedom and liberty that they begin to think of them not as goals that we should all aspire to be, but reality they demand. I make my own change, I always have faith and I never look to other people to give me hope. And sometimes we need to accept failure.

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